Backup (redundant) home internet service

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boomer_techie
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Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by boomer_techie »

I get internet access via DSL on my wired phone line. The connection has now been down for two weeks. The ISP says that the back haul provider says that the phone company says that there is a network outage. No further information is provided. Repair dates are promised and then missed. I don't know if the current outage is just affecting me, or if it is all DSL customers in my town (i.e. on the same switch.)

I'm getting the idea I should have a backup plan: I do not do TV and hence don't even have cable to the house. Thus internet via the cable TV company is not an option. Perhaps I could have an alternate DSL connection with a different ISP on a 2nd phone line. However, the phone company would still be involved.

Perhaps cell phone data is the answer? In my area, unless things have changed, the only viable systems are Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile doesn't have coverage and (former) Sprint used to have an "arrangement" with Verizon. Of course today there are MVNO's that piggyback on the big four, um, three.

My mobile phone is via Verizon. However, I predict I'd blow through my data cap in one day by connecting my desktop computer to the phone's hot spot feature. I checked Verizon's options for standalone hot spot service - they're essentially non-viable unless you have a corporate expense account.

What I kind of want is the TracFone of hot spot providers: Keep the hardware in reserve when I don't need it. Pay/activate it for a month when I do need it. Any suggestions?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TomatoTomahto »

See if you’re eligible for Starlink. Forget DSL.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
jebmke
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by jebmke »

Redundancy costs money. Hotspot probably your best bet. Satellite would require upfront cost and monthly service charge.
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dukeblue219
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by dukeblue219 »

Does your DSL provider offer a business line with guaranteed reliability? Perhaps you can pay more and not be in this same pickle.

Otherwise, it's Starlink or 4G/5G. Redundancy is going to be way too expensive to be practical, so it might just be time to cut the cord and leave DSL, which is nearly dead nowadays. It sounds like your DSL provider has no interest in maintaining the service anyway. What kind of speeds were you getting with DSL? Starlink should be able to beat it without any caps for now. It's $99/mo, but what else can you do?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Are Fios or cable available in your life area? They often have internet only plans.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
dukeblue219
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by dukeblue219 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:52 am Are Fios or cable available in your life area? They often have internet only plans.
If the phone company still provides DSL to this address in 2021 there is almost certainly not FIOS available, and OP stated no cable.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TomatoTomahto »

dukeblue219 wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:56 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:52 am Are Fios or cable available in your life area? They often have internet only plans.
If the phone company still provides DSL to this address in 2021 there is almost certainly not FIOS available, and OP stated no cable.
Actually, OP said “ I do not do TV and hence don't even have cable to the house,” which does leave open the possibility that cable is available.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
davebo
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by davebo »

As far as DSL, I'd ditch that for cable. Cable companies do internet only plans and, assuming it's in run in the neighborhood already, they can run the line to your house.
armeliusc
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by armeliusc »

You don't have to "do TV" to use a cable internet. Some company have internet only plans, some bundles it with "basic TV" plan and cheaper overall to get that than internet only, but so what, you don't have to hook it up to a TV. In fact for while in the past this was what we had. Just find what is the best price overall and get what you need.

Two weeks outage is unacceptable. I would just change service and be done with it. Redundant backup internet means you will be paying for two services, most of the time one being unused.
yohac
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by yohac »

boomer_techie wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:24 am What I kind of want is the TracFone of hot spot providers: Keep the hardware in reserve when I don't need it. Pay/activate it for a month when I do need it. Any suggestions?
One possibility is hotspot over Visible cell service. Unlimited data, but many people complain about abysmal speed. No way to know without trying it.
Katietsu
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Katietsu »

If you are used to a slow DSL, and have cable service to your area, check with the cable company for a low cost tier. Our cable company has a tier that is less than half the the price of their standard plan but at a lower speed. But they do not list this anywhere. You must ask for it. It would likely be the same cost as DSL but faster and more reliable.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by RickBoglehead »

Just because OP doesn't have cable connected to the house, doesn't mean that the cable company wouldn't do it for no charge. Depends on the run they have to do. We added cable to a property without it, but it was only 100' run to connect the house. They sent a "lineman" to do the run, and then he offered to run it into the attic for us.

Of course that would make the cable internet company the dominant company, and the DSL would be backup - assuming they could turn it off and on upon request, which is doubtful.

OP, you have two choices as I see it:

1) Pick a more reliable primary carrier - cable internet or Starlink (assuming it keeps getting better).

2) Find an affordable, possibly unlimited data option with cellular, for your cell phone, which would then be "on demand". Our cell plan, which is grandfathered, includes UNLIMITED data.
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KlangFool
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.

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mervinj7
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by mervinj7 »

boomer_techie wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:24 am I get internet access via DSL on my wired phone line. The connection has now been down for two weeks. The ISP says that the back haul provider says that the phone company says that there is a network outage. No further information is provided. Repair dates are promised and then missed. I don't know if the current outage is just affecting me, or if it is all DSL customers in my town (i.e. on the same switch.)

I'm getting the idea I should have a backup plan: I do not do TV and hence don't even have cable to the house. Thus internet via the cable TV company is not an option. Perhaps I could have an alternate DSL connection with a different ISP on a 2nd phone line. However, the phone company would still be involved.
Even if you don't currently have cable to the house, it doesn't mean you can't get cable internet. You should get a quote from the cable company to see if an internet only option is available for you. If your neighbors get cable, then it's a simple matter for them to run another line to your house. For me, installation was free with a one year contract. Got 600Mbps/15Mbps cable with no TV/phone package. Unfortunately, the download speed is twice what I want and the upload speed is half what I would prefer.
Topic Author
boomer_techie
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by boomer_techie »

KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that. I've spent a good bit of time with some friends who have the "whole enchilada" cable package - the long term reliability of that system is worse than what I've experienced with the DSL.

The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.
TN_Boy
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TN_Boy »

boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that. I've spent a good bit of time with some friends who have the "whole enchilada" cable package - the long term reliability of that system is worse than what I've experienced with the DSL.

The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.
You should really check and see what internet plans are available now from your cable provider, if you have not checked in years.

1.5M down/384k up is tragically slow. Even if you don't want to stream TV, have zoom meetings, etc doing things like software updates is painful at those speeds. And I really like having cloud backup of my important data ... also almost impossible at DSL speeds.

I urge you to reconsider the cable company boycott, though perhaps your cable provider is so poor that avoiding them is a better idea than I think. But I suspect your position is perhaps hurting you more than you realize ....
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TN_Boy »

jebmke wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:37 am Redundancy costs money. Hotspot probably your best bet. Satellite would require upfront cost and monthly service charge.
Yes. Our backup is using our phones as hotspots. We can't do this for an extended time or for some heavy uses (cloud backups of our data, etc) due to data caps on the phone plans, but as a short term measure to access the web, and do most essential things, it's fine.

I note our cell connection is quite a bit faster than the OP's DSL (which is a "back to the 90's" kind of thing).

jebmke, have you used satellite? I have not, but have not read anything good about it, other than it is better than well, having nothing.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TomatoTomahto »

TN_Boy wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:16 am jebmke, have you used satellite? I have not, but have not read anything good about it, other than it is better than well, having nothing.
I’m obviously not jebmke, but you should look into Starlink. Latency is much lower than traditional satellite because of low orbits. Available mostly in the northern US right now. It’s a game changer for rural wfh.

I am considering adding Starlink as a backup to Fios Gigabit. Pricey, and probably not something OP would consider.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
TheHiker
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TheHiker »

I use my cell phone as a backup in case cable internet goes down (which happens every now and then, but rarely for more than a few hours).
Cell phone data is way too slow for me to comfortably use for work, basically only good for checking emails. But that depends on what you use the internet for and how good the cell signal is in the house.
Internet being down for two weeks looks like a good enough reason to switch providers. Check with the cable company if you can have internet at your address.
I don't have cable TV, but an internet-only plan. There was no line to my house, they ran a new cable from the box outside.
I had DSL before switching to cable - it stopped working during rain and the phone company could not fix that.

The cost of cable internet is approximately the same as the cost of DSL with the land line.
I ditched the land line when I switched. Seems to be useless these days anyways.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by RickBoglehead »

boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that. I've spent a good bit of time with some friends who have the "whole enchilada" cable package - the long term reliability of that system is worse than what I've experienced with the DSL.

The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.
You're not going to get any "redundant" service that you turn on when your DSL is out except for cellular, IF you can get that. No cable internet company provides "service on demand" to my knowledge.

The speed your DSL provides is absolutely stone aged.
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TN_Boy
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TN_Boy »

TheHiker wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:00 pm I use my cell phone as a backup in case cable internet goes down (which happens every now and then, but rarely for more than a few hours).
Cell phone data is way too slow for me to comfortably use for work, basically only good for checking emails. But that depends on what you use the internet for and how good the cell signal is in the house.
Internet being down for two weeks looks like a good enough reason to switch providers. Check with the cable company if you can have internet at your address.
I don't have cable TV, but an internet-only plan. There was no line to my house, they ran a new cable from the box outside.
I had DSL before switching to cable - it stopped working during rain and the phone company could not fix that.
The ability to use a cell phone as a short term backup is entirely dependent upon how a good a signal you have in the home, and your data plan.

Sitting in my house, I can get 30+ mbs down, 18+mbs up on my phone. Which is good enough, short term, for many things when hotspotting (and far better than the OP's DSL!).

I had DSL a long time ago, and it was quite reliable. But painfully slow compared to current cable offerings, much less something like google fiber if available in one's area.
TN_Boy
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TN_Boy »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:19 am
TN_Boy wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:16 am jebmke, have you used satellite? I have not, but have not read anything good about it, other than it is better than well, having nothing.
I’m obviously not jebmke, but you should look into Starlink. Latency is much lower than traditional satellite because of low orbits. Available mostly in the northern US right now. It’s a game changer for rural wfh.

I am considering adding Starlink as a backup to Fios Gigabit. Pricey, and probably not something OP would consider.
I had not looked at Starlink, though it does appear promising for some situations (nothing I'd be interested in or need myself). It might be a bit early to jump on Starlink, even if available to the OP.
mhalley
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by mhalley »

I tried visible hotspot and my ps4 wouldn't even connect to it, but it does work on my ipad. Pretty slow and def not a viable primary internet service.
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by mhalley »

Additionally, most times a new cable plan will be cheaper for the first year, and by the time a year has passed starlink might become cheaper/more available. Also, there are many "wireless home internet" plans. They may become cheaper as 5g becomes more available.
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chris319
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by chris319 »

Just bite the bullet, spend the money and get cable. Have them run a line to your house. Two weeks without any Internet at all is no good. Consider it an "investment" in reliability. Shop around.

My old DSL went down and they were vague about when a truck could roll, etc., so I switched to cable and have never looked back.
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by chris319 »

Shotwell said SpaceX didn't have "a timeframe for getting out of the beta phase" and added there was still "a lot of work to do to make the network reliable."
https://www.businessinsider.com/starlin ... cex-2021-4
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wolf359
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by wolf359 »

We have two backup plans:

1) Use cell phone hotspots if we have an immediate need for internet connectivity.

2) Go to the public library or Starbucks if we have a need for a high speed connection over a longer period of time.

3) Pay-as-you-go hotspot or wifi. For example, Cox and AT&T have hotspots at central locations like malls and public areas. They're free to their subscribers, but they also offer pay-as-you-go for people who aren't already customers.

I said two backup plans, because that's all we ever do. The third one is available, but we've never actually used it.
Jags4186
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Jags4186 »

boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am My mobile phone is via Verizon. However, I predict I'd blow through my data cap in one day by connecting my desktop computer to the phone's hot spot feature. I checked Verizon's options for standalone hot spot service - they're essentially non-viable unless you have a corporate expense account.
boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.

These statements are incompatible. If you used 100% of your bandwidth 24hrs a day you’d use 16gb. So you’re probably using a lot less than that. Verizon and ATT give 30gb of hotspot data a month on their highest tier unlimited plan. If your internet goes down you could always upgrade your plan for a month and use the hotspot.

I’d still upgrade to cable, though.
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DWesterb2iz2
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by DWesterb2iz2 »

My wife and I have a small vacation place and rather than pay $100/mo for cable internet we use a Calyx Institute 4G LTE (effectively unlimited data, really: no throttling or any limit) hotspot. It’s our back up internet at home.

It's $500 the first year, and $400 per year after that, because you already have the device.

It's been well worth it for us. We easily stream Netflix, etc with it. You have to be in the Sprint coverage area (which is now really big), though, so check the map. It's worked out really well for us and we can take it with us when we travel elsewhere, too. Just FYI

https://www.calyxinstitute.org/member/map

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TN_Boy
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by TN_Boy »

DWesterb2iz2 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:02 pm My wife and I have a small vacation place and rather than pay $100/mo for cable internet we use a Calyx Institute 4G LTE (effectively unlimited data, really: no throttling or any limit) hotspot. It’s our back up internet at home.

It's $500 the first year, and $400 per year after that, because you already have the device.

It's been well worth it for us. We easily stream Netflix, etc with it. You have to be in the Sprint coverage area (which is now really big), though, so check the map. It's worked out really well for us and we can take it with us when we travel elsewhere, too. Just FYI

https://www.calyxinstitute.org/member/map

https://boingboing.net/2016/09/22/i-hav ... nel-t.html
Just a caveat -- being IN Sprint's coverage area (or AT&T's, or Verizon's ....) doesn't mean you actually will get good data speed in your house.

For example, to see something like a Calyx Institute 4G LTE worked for the OP, they would have to run bandwidth tests using a Sprint device in the home.
MathWizard
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by MathWizard »

If T-mobile works in your area, buy a 21 day 50 GB data sim, and a cellular hotspot that will use it.
(the 30 day is on backorder).

Code: Select all

https://www.amazon.com/America-SIM-Card-Unlimited-National-Tethering/dp/B07N7G4Q7Q/ref=psdc_14674870011_t4_B01CMD4VKC?th=1
At the bottom of the page is a suggested bundle, which includes a hotspot.

Caveat, I just use my phone, so I have not used this, but a friend used to use a
Verizon MiFi when he travelled, and they had daily rates.

I would echo going to cable, but in a pinch, having the hotspot and purchasing time works,
or just paying through the nose for data. (My Google Fi does not ca my data, I can burn through a lot,
which I did travelling in Europe. That was fine with me though, as I just used it for GPS.)
MarkRoulo
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by MarkRoulo »

boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that.
Maybe check the CURRENT cable/internet pricing?

Comcast, as an example, offers a $45/month prepaid internet option. No contract and you can decide month-by-month if you want it. I don't know that this existed five years ago.

But ... if the following are all true:
  • You only have DSL from the phone company (no fibre)
  • You won't or can't go with cable
  • Mobile phone plans are unacceptable
Then I think you are down to Starlink ($499 to sign up, $99/month) or nothing. And I suspect that Starlink is more than you want to pay even if it is affordable.

Good luck.
Afty
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Afty »

boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that. I've spent a good bit of time with some friends who have the "whole enchilada" cable package - the long term reliability of that system is worse than what I've experienced with the DSL.

The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.
How expensive is it? Comcast in my area (Silicon Valley) charges $60/mo for 600 Mbps down, Internet only, as a promotional offer for the first year. Full price is around $100/mo. Either seems a bargain over 1.5Mbps service at any price, especially when that service has been down for 2 weeks!
DetroitRick
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by DetroitRick »

We went through this though process a few years ago, and opted for having backup. Don't need it often, but it's is handy and nearly necessary sometimes for us.

There are only 3 wired providers in our neighborhood and all of them have rare but annoying outages. All have similar, generally poor, performance and service reviews here. My provider probably only goes down once or twice yearly. Often (50% of the time?) the cause is local damage to buried lines in our sub, but all 3 carrier lines are buried shallow, so all carry same risk and it won't end in my lifetime.

Anyway, for us, the cheapest and easiest redundant backup was simply to add a hotspot from our cellular carrier. This affords, among other benefits, 10gb of high speed data monthly - sufficient as backup for our needs and actually faster than our main carrier. But ours is T-Mobile, so that won't help because you mentioned coverage limitations in your area. For us, fortunately, their coverage near my house has vastly improved in the last 2 years - went from mediocre to stellar. So, I'd price out cellular carrier programs among the better coverage providers where you live.

My incremental cost for this "backup" is $10/month. With my regular internet, our usage varies in the range of 60 to 200 gb per month. Includes HD streaming, though. We've never exceeded the 10 gb of our backup hotspot (don't use it for video streaming and seldom for longer than 1 full day). Speeds are mostly decent, but vary, typically in the range of 15 to 50 Gbps down. Regular wired internet is consistently (only) 20 to 28 down. Both perform without issues for the things we do in our 2-person multi-device house.

If this stops working well for us, I'll consider Starlink and maybe skip the backup if that turns out to be reliable.
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by marc in merrimack »

Afty wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:00 pm
boomer_techie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:43 am
KlangFool wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:54 am If you want better help, you should let us know where you are? We do not need your specific address but the town/city/state would be useful.
California, outside of Silicon Valley.

Cable TV is in the area. Most people in my neighborhood use it for their internet. The last time I checked (admittedly a long time ago) their pricing for data only versus data+TV is atrocious - sorry, I can't support a company like that. I've spent a good bit of time with some friends who have the "whole enchilada" cable package - the long term reliability of that system is worse than what I've experienced with the DSL.

The DSL is 1.5M/384K. I am content with those speeds. The cost of the DSL is ~$35 month plus of course the cost of also maintaining a land line.
How expensive is it? Comcast in my area (Silicon Valley) charges $60/mo for 600 Mbps down, Internet only, as a promotional offer for the first year. Full price is around $100/mo. Either seems a bargain over 1.5Mbps service at any price, especially when that service has been down for 2 weeks!
Careful with Comcast’s promotional offers. I almost fell for one myself until I learned that I could not later drop to their lowest tier (new subscribers only) service which provides plenty of bandwidth for me. Comcast has had a deservedly poor reputation.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by cchrissyy »

OP, is sonic fiber available at your address? They're a good company in many ways, not like the hated cable provider. Pricing is reasonable, installation is free, and a new customer discount would apply.
vested1
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by vested1 »

As someone who installed DSL as soon as it came out I can tell you that I never understood why anyone, even back then, would rely on such an expensive and unreliable system. Subscription costs have gone down because no one wants it.

Having been on the inside for almost 40 years I can guarantee that the equipment needed to support DSL and other antiquated systems is in short supply because the megacorp that still offers that service sees no need to spend capital dollars supporting a dinosaur. Due to that refusal to buy old recycled equipment, when existing central office or field equipment fails, replacements are borrowed from other locations until all sources are exhausted. At that time customers start experiencing prolonged outages such as the OP has, with lame excuses that are largely deflection from the main cause.

There is no money in it for the provider, which is their only concern, so the remaining customers suffer as a consequence. The same can be said for all central office equipment, especially for the largest of these corporations, which shall remain nameless. When I initially retired from megacorp in 2009 to work for private firms in related fields, main central office switches that controlled local traffic were beginning to feel the same pinch, with barter agreements being brokered by office technicians desperate to put bandaids on gaping wounds. That is because the office switches were primarily routing traffic from wireline customers, which was even then a dying source of income. With the advent of wireless, the outlay for office switching equipment evaporated overnight, which caused the suppliers of that equipment to halt manufacturing. Now regulated central offices act primarily as hubs to route wireless traffic, and those connections likely don't involve any equipment, but merely a fiber patch.

For the OP, to be clear, wireline service, which your DSL uses for delivery will continue to decline because it is too expensive to maintain for the amount of revenue it generates. During my last several years at megacorp, it was the policy that repairs on physical wired pairs not be made unless absolutely necessary. When a pair of wires went bad the service was simply switched to a different pair that was still viable. With the decline in the number of wireline customers there were plenty of spare pairs for awhile, until there weren't.

In 2009 when I left megacorp we were installing single transport systems capable of 40 separate gigabit channels, and I thought that was big, which is a kneeslapper now. "Big" is a relative word. When DSL came out customers thought that was big too.

I would suggest getting either a fiber or coax connection if possible, or a reliable satellite connection, with straight ethernet. You may be satisfied with 1.5mgb down and 384k up, but if you want to keep on communicating with the rest of the world, or even get your news in a timely fashion you need to bite the bullet and crack open the wallet just a tad. 1.5(44) mgb is based on a sonet signal, not ethernet, and that is a major limitation. If megacorp was somehow able to deliver your DSL on fiber or coax, sonet would still limit its capabilities. Of course they would never waste fiber or coax on a technology that old. If they did the subscription cost would be astronomical.

Abandon wire whenever possible.
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wander
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by wander »

Even a wireless hotspot can you much faster speed than a DSL. If your area has 5G Ultra Wideband service, check out its unlimited hotspot.
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boomer_techie
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by boomer_techie »

cchrissyy wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:27 pm OP, is sonic fiber available at your address? They're a good company in many ways, not like the hated cable provider.
No Sonic fiber. BTW, the DSL is via "Sonic" - provided via a local ISP. If it weren't for the current "bug", I could be talking to them in person every day.
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boomer_techie
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by boomer_techie »

Jags4186 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:53 pm These statements are incompatible. If you used 100% of your bandwidth 24hrs a day you’d use 16gb. So you’re probably using a lot less than that. Verizon and ATT give 30gb of hotspot data a month on their highest tier unlimited plan.
My math agrees: 90 minutes pegged at 100% is about 1GB. Watching YouTube nominally pegs the connection. Thus 90 minutes of YouTube a day for a month would use up a 30GB plan.

Checked Verizon: There is no more "unlimited" hot spot specific plan. The only option is an account level plan which could be unlimited. However, that is "cell phone unlimited", i.e. it really does have some limit beyond which there is serious throttling. Not really appropriate for computer use. Anyway, the sense I got in the past and now is that Verizon targets their hot spot to people who'll treat it as a business expense.

Cable is Comcast. Slowest (cheapest) is $20 month promo price, um, $50 month normal price, scratch that, $60 month because there's no way I'm doing AutoPay. That sort of pricing shenanigan is yet another thing that turns me off to cable.

I was hoping there would be folks here who spend lots of time in a RV and have arranged Internet on the go in boglehead cheapskate fashion.
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CardinalRule
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by CardinalRule »

If Starlink is available in your area, and it is probably best suited to rural areas right now, you must agree to Elon Musk’s Mars Clause, if you want to subscribe. :mrgreen:

For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonization spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities.
chris319
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by chris319 »

Slowest (cheapest) is $20 month promo price, um, $50 month normal price, scratch that, $60 month because there's no way I'm doing AutoPay.
Dude, seriously? Are you so paranoid that you won't go on auto-pay? I consider it a luxury not having one more bill to pay. I've had my electric bill on auto-pay for 30 years. Cable/Internet are on auto-pay as well and I never, ever have a problem with either one. As far as cable TV, I consider my CNN and MSNBC necessities of life but that's just me :mrgreen:

I am reminded of a company I once worked for. They would spend a dollar to save a dime. Come on; I suspect you are not destitute yet you seem intent on pinching every penny until Abe Lincoln s***s copper.
GOMEZ: Morticia! Consolidated Fuzz just hit 212 — I sold it for 6 — saved all that tax. MORTICIA: Brilliant!
rustymutt
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by rustymutt »

Mobile hot spot is my only connection, and it works fast. $40 a month for Visible 5G which isn't throttled down. Visible is Verizon subsidiary.
Phone with internet hotspot both. Check you area for Verizon towers. I get 5meg down, and up and higher than that most of the time.
Very pleased with it.
Even educators need education. And some can be hard headed to the point of needing time out.
Jags4186
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Jags4186 »

boomer_techie wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:46 am
Jags4186 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:53 pm These statements are incompatible. If you used 100% of your bandwidth 24hrs a day you’d use 16gb. So you’re probably using a lot less than that. Verizon and ATT give 30gb of hotspot data a month on their highest tier unlimited plan.
My math agrees: 90 minutes pegged at 100% is about 1GB. Watching YouTube nominally pegs the connection. Thus 90 minutes of YouTube a day for a month would use up a 30GB plan.

Checked Verizon: There is no more "unlimited" hot spot specific plan. The only option is an account level plan which could be unlimited. However, that is "cell phone unlimited", i.e. it really does have some limit beyond which there is serious throttling. Not really appropriate for computer use. Anyway, the sense I got in the past and now is that Verizon targets their hot spot to people who'll treat it as a business expense.

Cable is Comcast. Slowest (cheapest) is $20 month promo price, um, $50 month normal price, scratch that, $60 month because there's no way I'm doing AutoPay. That sort of pricing shenanigan is yet another thing that turns me off to cable.

I was hoping there would be folks here who spend lots of time in a RV and have arranged Internet on the go in boglehead cheapskate fashion.
1.5mbps cannot support HD streaming without tons of stuttering, so you’re likely streaming 480p content which means you aren’t even using 1.5mbps. Looks like a 480p stream consumes about 580 megabytes/hr so a 90 minute youtube stream is going to consume just about 1gb as you say.

I wasn’t suggesting going hotspot 100% of the time, I was suggesting using it as a backup for when your DSL service goes down. In that use scenario, you should be plenty fine. 30gb would likely easily support your typical usage for several days or even a week, provided when you’re using the hotspot feature you don’t crank up the resolution to 4K or start downloading multiple massive files.

Edit: to remove sort of snarky comment because I completely misread your post. Sorry!
Last edited by Jags4186 on Mon May 03, 2021 7:13 am, edited 4 times in total.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by RickBoglehead »

boomer_techie wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:46 am
Jags4186 wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:53 pm These statements are incompatible. If you used 100% of your bandwidth 24hrs a day you’d use 16gb. So you’re probably using a lot less than that. Verizon and ATT give 30gb of hotspot data a month on their highest tier unlimited plan.
My math agrees: 90 minutes pegged at 100% is about 1GB. Watching YouTube nominally pegs the connection. Thus 90 minutes of YouTube a day for a month would use up a 30GB plan.

Checked Verizon: There is no more "unlimited" hot spot specific plan. The only option is an account level plan which could be unlimited. However, that is "cell phone unlimited", i.e. it really does have some limit beyond which there is serious throttling. Not really appropriate for computer use. Anyway, the sense I got in the past and now is that Verizon targets their hot spot to people who'll treat it as a business expense.

Cable is Comcast. Slowest (cheapest) is $20 month promo price, um, $50 month normal price, scratch that, $60 month because there's no way I'm doing AutoPay. That sort of pricing shenanigan is yet another thing that turns me off to cable.

I was hoping there would be folks here who spend lots of time in a RV and have arranged Internet on the go in boglehead cheapskate fashion.
1) In a RV, there can only be two options - cellular, and satellite. Both have been presented to you.

2) If you think that people who live in an RV have figured it out, then the best source of information would likely be an RV forum.

3) I dislike Comcast's use of promo pricing that expires in a year, with the "gotchya" when the price goes up. I solve this by two methods. First, I put it on my calendar when the new rate bill would come, which is for a period not yet started, allowing me time to contact Comcast. Second, I use Comcast's "On It" to communicate with them, instead of calling the 800#. That gets me to a group that specializes in fixing stuff. I had $20 per month for several years, then $30 a month now. On two houses.

4) In this day and age, not using autopay is silly. I put almost everything on one credit card (unless the vendor won't do, or penalized for credit cards like Verizon. On an annual basis, my cash back is almost $700, and that was last year with no travel during the pandemic.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Jags4186
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Jags4186 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 6:59 am 4) In this day and age, not using autopay is silly. I put almost everything on one credit card (unless the vendor won't do, or penalized for credit cards like Verizon. On an annual basis, my cash back is almost $700, and that was last year with no travel during the pandemic.
FYI, PayPal has a free service called “Paypal Key” which is a virtual card number service. It codes as “debit” but passes through the purchase category to the linked card account. Most of the big time stuff has already blocked PayPal Key (e.g. Plastiq) but it still works with Verizon just fine. I have it linked to an Ink Cash card so I get my 5X points and get the debit card discount at Verizon. :sharebeer
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JoMoney
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by JoMoney »

OP said T-Mobile doesn't have service where they are, but it might be worth keeping an eye on "T-Mobile Home Internet"
https://www.t-mobile.com/isp

apparently Verizon is rolling out home 5g Internet as well
https://www.verizon.com/5g/home/
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by RickBoglehead »

Jags4186 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:20 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 6:59 am 4) In this day and age, not using autopay is silly. I put almost everything on one credit card (unless the vendor won't do, or penalized for credit cards like Verizon. On an annual basis, my cash back is almost $700, and that was last year with no travel during the pandemic.
FYI, PayPal has a free service called “Paypal Key” which is a virtual card number service. It codes as “debit” but passes through the purchase category to the linked card account. Most of the big time stuff has already blocked PayPal Key (e.g. Plastiq) but it still works with Verizon just fine. I have it linked to an Ink Cash card so I get my 5X points and get the debit card discount at Verizon. :sharebeer
Thank you for this!

I knew of PayPal key, but did not know it would look like a debit card, and don't use debit cards. I just changed my Verizon account to this, and it confirmed my payment account was now "Electronic Check"!

I only get 2% back on my card, but when Chase has quarterly bonuses and cell companies are included, I will definitely switch to it.

I am now going to look into other things that allow debit cards and see if I can do this.

I just tested with my state taxes, and it shows as debit! I assume the IRS figured it out? Have you checked?

Can't do my car payment, only bank accounts. Same with mortgage.

Between the cell and my state estimated taxes, I just gained $150 a year in cashback!

Appreciate it! :sharebeer
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Jags4186
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Jags4186 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:32 am
Jags4186 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:20 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 6:59 am 4) In this day and age, not using autopay is silly. I put almost everything on one credit card (unless the vendor won't do, or penalized for credit cards like Verizon. On an annual basis, my cash back is almost $700, and that was last year with no travel during the pandemic.
FYI, PayPal has a free service called “Paypal Key” which is a virtual card number service. It codes as “debit” but passes through the purchase category to the linked card account. Most of the big time stuff has already blocked PayPal Key (e.g. Plastiq) but it still works with Verizon just fine. I have it linked to an Ink Cash card so I get my 5X points and get the debit card discount at Verizon. :sharebeer
Thank you for this!

I knew of PayPal key, but did not know it would look like a debit card, and don't use debit cards. I just changed my Verizon account to this, and it confirmed my payment account was now "Electronic Check"!

I only get 2% back on my card, but when Chase has quarterly bonuses and cell companies are included, I will definitely switch to it.

I am now going to look into other things that allow debit cards and see if I can do this.

I just tested with my state taxes, and it shows as debit! I assume the IRS figured it out? Have you checked?

Can't do my car payment, only bank accounts. Same with mortgage.

Between the cell and my state estimated taxes, I just gained $150 a year in cashback!

Appreciate it! :sharebeer
Glad to have helped. No can do on the IRS front, that too was shut down.
Fat Tails
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Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

Post by Fat Tails »

You may see what it costs to get unlimited data on your cell phone plan. These days it shouldn't be too much and using your phone as a wifi hotspot should suffice for an emergency backup,

Cheers
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